First Saltwater Tank. :)

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Builds' started by xshainax, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. xshainaxWell Known MemberMember

    After around 6 years of being in the FW game, I thought I would get into the SW game. This is my 20 gallon long.

    The sand is Carib-sea Arag alive

    The water is Nutra-sea

    The dry rock is 15 lbs from Billy's reef connection

    Filter is Aqueon quiet flow

    Heater is Aqueon 50 Watt

    The light is just a standard flourescent, lol. Will change it when I start with corals.

    No wavemaker yet. Will get it after it cycles salty.JPG

  2. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Congratulations!! Welcome to the salty side. :D

    Hmmm, I'd recommend the powerhead addition happen asap. Even beneficial bacteria, (the marine kind), prefer flow like is found in the ocean.;)

    The tank looks great!! How many bulbs will your light fixture hold? I ask because my own 20g long reef was under a 4-bulb T5 fixture for the better part of a year before I switched to LED. Fluorescent lighting can support a reef, but there's got to be enough light provided, and bulb choice is important. If I can help you with this, just let me know.

    Either way, I love seeing a new salty tank around here, and I'm glad to follow your build.:)
  3. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to being salty ;). And definitely agree about getting some sort of flow going. It will help with stagnant areas and encourage the aerobic bacteria to grow with good oxygen circulation.
  4. xshainaxWell Known MemberMember

    It holds just one light and I was thinking about going with this. Just doing hardy corals that won't die with a little abuse, lol.  
  5. Wild BillWell Known MemberMember

    Have you done any research on T5 lighting? The bulbs are cheaper, but you’ll be replacing them around 6-9 months later because the light weakens over time. I use LED personally. It’s a little more cost up front, but it’s almost set and forget it.
  6. xshainaxWell Known MemberMember

    I don't have a job, so I can't afford LED lighting. I have looked and can't find good ones for less than $100. I get $100 a week cleaning the house for my dad, but the money goes towards food too
  7. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    ATI makes a great T5 bulb, and they are the brand that I use in my T5 light. :) Again, it was a 4 bulb and I'm sorry, but I don't think much of anything will survive under only one. Of course, you could try, but even with a hardy, low-light coral, I would highly suggest placing it as high in your tank as possible.

    While it's important to have enough bulbs (for enough PAR for your corals), and yes, they do cost more over time, T5's aren't as expensive up front and are perhaps better than the reputation preceding them. Here's some food for thought.;) Personally, my dream light is a T5/LED hybrid. :D

  8. xshainaxWell Known MemberMember

    Will this work? :)"+dual+lamp+fixture+saltwater
  9. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Hmm, I'm not the best with lighting, to be honest, and only know that I'd prefer four bulbs as that is what worked for me. ;) Yes, it would work, but I would prefer two of them. I understand working on a tight budget though, so perhaps one now, and one later? Taking your time with lighting isn't so bad as it allows you to spend that time researching corals.:D Also worth mentioning... I started my tank with Coralife bulbs (2 Actinic + 2 10,000K) and really did not like the look they produced. So, while the fixture is probably fine, I'd still put ATI bulbs in it.;) So, whichever fixture you get, make sure it will accommodate the bulb sizes ATI offers. The last two videos above will give you an idea of which bulbs you might like. I went with 2 Blue Plus, 1 Purple Plus, and 1 Coral Plus. It does produce a very nice spectrum and the light would have been fine if it weren't for my unique setup. I have limited space above the tank that did not allow me to center the rather bulky T5 fixture over it. That, added to future costs of a T5 setup were deciding factors in switching to an LED light that was slim enough to be mounted perfectly... though, I want to tell you that I really do understand working on a budget, as it took me 6 months or more of saving, and the light wasn't switched until about month 9 with this tank. So, I can honestly say that the T5's sufficed... it was just my inability to mount it correctly that caused corals to survive, but not really thrive. I now have that fixture over a quarantine tank, and though I haven't purchased corals for a long while now, having that light over it allows me to qt corals and will assist in keeping my tank pest free.
  10. xshainaxWell Known MemberMember

    I think I will get the purple plus and AB special, they look really nice, lol

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